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4 things we learnt: Hyundai A-League Round 2


Round 2 had a Melbourne Derby, a NSW Derby and a Distance Derby. Here are four things we learnt from the weekend's round.
1: Wanderers are evolving very nicely
Western Sydney may not have a win to their name after two rounds but it’s hard not to be impressed at the manner of their performances thus far.
Some of their attacking football and build-up play in the first fortnight has been sublime. Mitch Nichols, Romeo Castelen, Andreu and Jaushua Sotirio have been combining to good affect and opening up opposition defences regularly.
The only thing missing has been the finishing touch or a poor last option. But what we saw in Adelaide on Friday night, particularly in the latter stages of their 1-1 result with the Reds was a team building a new and impressive style. 
It seems only a matter of time before Tony Popovic’s evolution of the squad and its playing style will bear fruit. 
It sets up a riveting Harbour City derby against Sydney FC this weekend.




2: Newcastle's appetite for A-League football remains strong
Over 12,000 fans were on hand at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night and now 8,000 members have signed on for the new season. And with three points from a possible six, it's been a solid start by the Jets. 
Not a bad turnaround for the club after the debacle of last season. They have a team to be proud of, playing with passion, desire and pride in the jumper.
Oh, and rookie coach Scott Miller is great value too who knows how to work the media with a bit of banter (he and Arnie shared a laugh before Saturday's clash after some excellent midweek banter that no doubt helped sell a few more tickets). 
Not only has the former Fulham assistant coach made the Jets ultra-competitive but you have to love Miller's honesty and heart-on-your-sleeve emotion on the touchline.  
Yes, they lost to the Sky Blues but are showing some positive signs on and off the park. 



3: Brandon O'Neill is the Aussie signing of the season so far?
Could this be O’Neill’s breakout year in the A-League?
If the first two weeks are anything to go by the answer is a resounding yes. No wonder Sky Blues coach Graham Arnold was so delighted to lure the youngster to the club from Perth.
The 21-year-old looks to have a brilliant all-round game. He’s strong in the tackle, has great positional sense, shows great defensive discipline and the quality of his passing is vastly under-rated.
O’Neill’s been that good he’s keeping Senegal international Mickael Tavares stuck on the bench. And last Saturday in Newcastle he again showed why he is so valued by Arnie.





4: The Melbourne Derby rarely fails to deliver
We have been treated to some epic battles between Victory and City in the past and Saturday’s thrilling encounter at Etihad Stadium adds another astonishing chapter.
More than 40,000 fans provided colour and the noise and the players produced on the pitch in a match with so many twists and turns.
Victory looked safe at 2-0 before City stormed back with two goals in three second half minutes.
The drama wasn’t done there with the man for the big moment Besart Berisha delivering once again, handing Victory the three points at the death.
What a game, what a night, what an occasion: 3-2 to the Champions. Can’t wait for the next instalment of the Melbourne Derby. 

Friday, 16 October 2015
F
T
Adelaide United
1 - 1
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Saturday, 17 October 2015
F
T
Newcastle Jets
0 - 1
Sydney FC
F
T
Melbourne Victory
3 - 2
Melbourne City FC
Sunday, 18 October 2015
F
T
Brisbane Roar FC
2 - 1
Central Coast Mariners
F
T
Perth Glory
1 - 2
Wellington Phoenix

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